NCIS: Los Angeles Season Finale Review: Checkmate

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The previews for the NCIS: Los Angeles finale made it seem like we would be losing a member of the boathouse crew. And, we did, just not as expected.

While "Sans Voir" was not nearly as thrilling as last year's finale, it will certainly have greater ramifications for the team. One similarity between the two endings was that Hetty submitted her resignation. Last year, it didn't stick, will it this time around? Lauren's murder and Callen's loss of control may be the push she needed to leave NCIS for good.

NCIS: LA Team in Action

This two-hour episode had a similar problem to the Hawaii Five-0 and NCIS: Los Angeles crossover: each hour consisted of two very different cases that were then tied together with a sliver of story.

In this case, the Chameleon was the ultimate "big bad" in both hours, but his involvement with the Mayfields didn't make much sense. Although, it did feature the desired effect of bringing Callen and crew into the case.

The first hour was pretty boring even for a regular episode. I don't specifically remember Renko from the first season, so his death while unfortunate didn't have any emotional pull.

The second hour picked up the pace with the execution of Lauren Hunter. Her death definitely caused some pain on the team. Even though they didn't like her at first, she was a member of their family. It caused Hetty, the formidable Hetty, to break.

The Chameleon knew all the pieces to play to get what he wanted. He was winning the game, but he underestimated the damage he was causing along the way. He manipulated NCIS into negotiating (doesn't our government have a no negotiation policy?) payment for Atley even though the undercover agent had already been compromised. But he didn't count on Callen going rogue.

Wow! Callen really lost it, didn't he? Will he be sent to Levenworth now? He killed an unarmed man, in front of civilians, a television crew and the police. It doesn't get much worse than that. With Callen's face plastered all over the news, his undercover status is forever compromised.

No one from the team was killed in the finale, but they lost one of their own in Callen. He decided to dole out his own justice and with that he may have lost everything. I'm at a loss for how Callen can get out of this. Sam needs his partner and NCIS would be worse off without him on their team, but his action seems irredeemable.

Do you see a way for Callen to return to the team after executing the Chameleon? What about Hetty, will she return? It will be a long wait until fall to find out what happens next.


Editor Rating: 4.7 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 (711 Votes)

Carla Day is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter and on Google+.


* a contract for the next season. Another strange thing i would like to add is that the terrorists just give that guy to Kensi and Deeks before having the Chameleon in their possession, now the team could have just driven away with both of them?! This could suggest that they where in on it too and this was all staged for something which we will find out next season!! So excited!!!!!!


My conclusion is that this was a set up which was so secret that they couldn't tell any one, not even Hetty. Or that they improvised on the spot. Callen had to pretend to kill the Chameleon so that they didn't have to give him to the terrorists and it had to be on tv so that everyone would think that the Chameleon is dead.
Another strange thing was that the cops didn't shoot at Callen when he shot the Chameleon which suggests that they where in on it because they should have because they always do. Another explanation would be that Callen was hired by someone for example Director Vance to set this up so that everyone thinks the Chameleon is dead (including the team) and that Callen is in Jail. It is very strange that Director Vance never shows up in the last couple of episodes. They always have these cliff hangers at the end of each season and it always turns out fine. Callen and Hetti are the two main characters so they won't leave the show, beside they both signed a contract for next season. It was a really good episode though! I can't wait for the next season!!


Certain characters have to remain for a show to be successful and keep that going. Imagine NCIS without Gibbs for starters... would not work. The same can be said for Callen and Hetty in NCIS LA. There is great acting chemistry between those two and they are the heart of the show. But if you take the final episode as literal (ie it all actually happened), do not see how Callen can be retrieved from that mess (even with an order from the President!), he killed an unarmed men and, 'man' did he pump those bullets in !!!! No forgiveness there, especially that last shot - was that meant to be through the Chameleon's jaw as he did to his victims? Hetty would have to call in every favour she had and then some to clear Callen of first degree murder on that one! That said.. of course it could all turn out to be a dream ... (the Ewings got away with it after all...!!!), maybe thats the best to hope for if we want to keep our favourite characters in the show!!!


I agree with rico43, well... for the most part. I didn't see any blood when Chameleon was shot and Kenzie's face didn't look all that surprised. But I'm surprised that those Two police officers didn't shoot Callen, if it wasn't a show, he would have been shot like 30 times the second he pulled the first shot on Chameleon. BTW those cops and camera crew was the work of Chameleon, he set it up so Callen can't kill him.


It didn't really happen. Only in his mind. It was all imagined in a few seconds. Even Hetty quitting. Remember she told him about the first time she quit. Crossing the date out on an official document is not reality. I believe he snaps out of it at the last second.


If Hetty was in on this, I really don't understand the morgue scene. As for the rest, I agree the shooting wasn't real. Could Hunter's death have been unanticipated and real and that's why Hetty walks out? I think I read somewhere that Linda Hunt would like to retire. Thoughts, anyone?


And so no one in the whole world can furnish the title or artist of the very last song (when Callen shot the Chameleon as he got out of the truck)? It was an acoustic ballad and had the words....waiting for the Pheonix to be rising off the roof and also the lyrics.."your next move, what's it gonna be?" Does anyone know this song or artist??? HELP!!! and thanks


keep replaying the last 4 minutes"


I think im gonna cry just watched the last 4 minutes to comprehend what just happened...

Josie leeds

Minus Hetty and Callen, this is a no-go-show. The idea that it was all staged is viable except for blowing up Lauren. Kind of hard to "fake" that unless they were using "projection" to APPEAR to place her in the car. If Granger is Chameleon, HURRAH! Get rid of him one way or another. Hetty doing the resignation thing again was for the benefit of ????? Unless the writers are giving even MORE "power" to Granger and Hetty doesn't know it was a setup. If that is the direction, kiss this program goodbye--Ferrar cannot, in his wildest dreams, carry this show as effectively as Hetty.

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